Last month we published the Qualified Manifesto, which shared with the world the philosophy that guides everything from our product roadmap to our own processes for hiring software engineers.

Identifying great developer talent requires a deep understanding of how developers work and live, which leads to a mutual respect between companies and developers. We build products that we would want to use ourselves as developer candidates, because these tools let us show off our best work when we use them.

Welp, if we were interviewing for a job we’d want to complete coding assessments or projects using our own integrated development environment (IDE). That’s like letting a golfer play with their own clubs, or a musician perform with their own guitar. It’s simply how we’d be able to best demonstrate our skills, which is what coding assessments are designed to do anyways, right?

Time to put our money where our mouth is… that’s why we’re so excited to announce our newest feature which allows developers to complete Qualified assessments using their own IDE. External IDE

Introducing External IDE

While we’ve always offered a highly customizable web IDE, by holding ourselves accountable to giving developers every opportunity to showcase their best work we had to let job candidates complete coding challenges in their own development environment.

Now they can.

Qualified's new External IDE feature uses a small node terminal app that synchronizes files from your file system back to Qualified’s web IDE. This allows developers to work in their own IDE without needing to setup or get an application running in their own system.

How to use your External IDE

Here’s how you’ll be prompted to select your own IDE at the outset of taking a Qualified challenge.

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If you choose to complete a Qualified challenge using your own IDE, you’ll then be asked to follow the steps outlined below to begin using your External IDE.

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Once these setup steps are completed candidates can work on Qualified challenges in the comfort of their own development environment.

Some technical specifics

If you want to allow developers to use their External IDE, you can enable or disable the feature team-wide although the global setting can also be overridden for any given challenge. This feature works with our new assessment format, Project Code Challenges, where the value of working in your own IDE is that much more significant.

Finally, code written in your own IDE will not be subject to detailed code playback—you can still use our code playback feature but it will be limited to when the candidate saves code. External IDE is best suited to letting candidates work independently—you can’t launch an interactive session with a candidate if they’re using their own IDE, but you can still review the code that they’ve written with them via a pair-programming session thereafter.

This feature is our latest step towards our goal of creating a developer assessment experience that’s truly second to none. And we hope it’s your next step in creating a great first impression with developers that are interested in one of the open roles at your company.

External IDE is now available to a limited number of Qualified customers in a private beta before we make it more broadly available. You can request an invite to the private beta of External IDE for yourself here.


Jake Hoffner, Qualified Co-founder & CTO